Mini Reviews: Wedding Romances Perfect for the Summer

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The Wedding Party (The Wedding Date #3)
by Jasmine Guillory
Publication Date: July 16, 2019
Publisher: Berkley
  

Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis via Goodreads: The new exhilarating romance from The New York Times bestselling author of The Proposal!

Maddie and Theo have two things in common:

1. Alexa is their best friend

2. They hate each other

After an “oops, we made a mistake” night together, neither one can stop thinking about the other. With Alexa’s wedding rapidly approaching, Maddie and Theo both share bridal party responsibilities that require more interaction with each other than they’re comfortable with. Underneath the sharp barbs they toss at each other is a simmering attraction that won’t fade. It builds until they find themselves sneaking off together to release some tension when Alexa isn’t looking, agreeing they would end it once the wedding is over. When it’s suddenly pushed up and they only have a few months left of secret rendezvouses, they find themselves regretting that the end is near. Two people this different can’t possibly have a connection other than the purely physical, right?

But as with any engagement with a nemesis, there are unspoken rules that must be abided by. First and foremost, don’t fall in love.

*I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

After being sorely disappointed by The Proposal, I went into The Wedding Party with the lowest expectations as possible. Honestly, my only expectation was that this book didn’t suck as much as Guillory’s sophomore book because having to go through round two of that again would have been painful.

For some, first expressions don’t always go over well. That was the case for Maddie Forest and Theo Stephens when they first met and have been butting heads ever since. When one drunken night leads to an unexpected hook-up, feelings of hate start to turn into something more—something neither one of them expected. They agree to a friends-with-benefits arrangement, one that will last just until their best friend’s wedding is over. But when the time comes to call it quits, will Maddie and Theo be able to walk away or will they find themselves already in too deep?

From the synopsis alone, one would expect The Wedding Party to be a enemies-to-lovers romance and while the vibes are definitely there, I would say that they’re a bit weak at most. The thing is, we are mainly told at the beginning that Maddie and Theo don’t like each other but we don’t really get to see it. Then they end up hooking up and their weird, awkward relationship starts. Basically I’m just trying to say that I wish we got more hate-vibes because it would’ve made for a much better build up. Moving on, I am happy to say that I ended up enjoying this novel a lot more than I thought I would. I adored Maddie to bits and she’s my favorite part of this book. I love her kind heart and her sassy spirit and how she basically just spends her day making women feel the best they can be. Theo on the other hand took some time to warm up to. He’s not a bad guy, he’s just a tad bit dense when it comes to romance and I just wanted to yell at him for being a idiot at times. But he won me over in the end and low key surprised me because Theo has some smooth moves which I was totally not expecting at all. The romance had me living! It’s funny that these two spend so much time hating each other because they have more in common than they think—if Theo just wasn’t being a judgmental ass in the beginning he would’ve seen that. While the sexy times are mostly fade to black, I definitely felt the chemistry between Theo and Maddie. ALSO THIS BOOK HAS ONE OF MY FAVE TROPES! THEO GETS INJURED AND MADDIE HAS TO TAKE CARE OF HIM AND OMFGGGG MY HEART! This just brought the romance home for me and made me ship these two harder. In the end, Jasmine Guillory totally redeemed herself with The Wedding Party and now I’m back to being excited for whatever book she releases next!

 

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Ayesha at Last
by Uzma Jalaluddin
Publication Date: June 4, 2019
Publisher: Berkley

Add to Goodreads || Buy on Amazon  

Rating: ★★★★½

Synopsis via Goodreads: A modern-day Muslim Pride and Prejudice for a new generation of love.

Ayesha Shamsi has a lot going on. Her dreams of being a poet have been set aside for a teaching job so she can pay off her debts to her wealthy uncle. She lives with her boisterous Muslim family and is always being reminded that her flighty younger cousin, Hafsa, is close to rejecting her one hundredth marriage proposal. Though Ayesha is lonely, she doesn’t want an arranged marriage. Then she meets Khalid who is just as smart and handsome as he is conservative and judgmental. She is irritatingly attracted to someone who looks down on her choices and dresses like he belongs in the seventh century.

Ayesha is torn between how she feels about the straightforward Khalid and the unsettling new gossip she hears about his family. Looking into the rumors, she finds she has to deal with not only what she discovers about Khalid, but also the truth she realizes about herself.

*I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

Ayesha at Last is a book that I’ve had sitting on my Kindle for months and for some odd reason, I just kept forgetting to read it. At one point, I completely forgot about it all together until I was updating my Netgalley reviews and saw that I still hadn’t submitted a review. Needless to say, I finally got my shit together and started reading this book and once I started, I couldn’t stop.

Finding a partner, getting married, settling down and starting a family: all things expected of most desi children by their parents but Ayesha Shamsi has other plans. Instead of planning her wedding, she’s planning a path of her own, one that will hopefully lead to her dream of becoming a poet. In walks Khalid Mirza and though he annoys Ayesha to no end with his conservative ways, she can’t help but find herself wanting to spend more time with him. But when family secrets threaten to keep these two apart, can Ayesha and Khalid find a way to overcome these hurdles or will it keep them apart?

Petition to have all future Pride & Prejudice retellings only be written by desi authors with desi characters! I’ve read quite a P&P retellings this year, all written by desi authors, and I am now convinced that my favorite Austen story can only retold with a desi spin because any other way just won’t be good enough (sorry, not sorry). Moving on, someone please slap me for not picking up this book sooner because I was missing out on one epic story filled with an angsty romance, family drama and such relatable content. I adored our heroine from the start. Ayesha is a spirited young woman who isn’t quite sure what she wants to do for the rest of her life but she knows for a fact that finding a husband is not a main priority. I really enjoyed seeing her try to figure out her purpose and then take steps to follow her passion even though her family may not approve. Our hero Khalid totally took me by surprised. I was not at all expecting to fall for this man like I did. Khalid is a practicing Muslim and he’s very strict in his beliefs and keeping up with tradition. He’s the total opposite of Ayesha as he’s such a stickler for the rules but as this story goes on, we slowly get to see him loosen up and he starts questioning everything he’s been told and how he’s suppose to act and he eventually finds this balance between religion and being his true self which I enjoyed exploring. Also, my boy Khalid got some moves and he knows how to romance a girl! He does some really cute things for Ayesha and it had me swooning! The romance was angsty as hell. Like I’m not even kidding, I was screaming at my eReader for Ayesha and Khalid to stop bickering and to just say they liked one another already. But at the same time, I loved the slow-burning build up. I just also wanna show some love for Ayesha’s best friend Clara. Clara is kind of the voice of reason in this book and she offers a different perspective to situations. She’s also a great friend to both Ayesha and Khalid and without her, these would’ve probably still been fighting their feelings for one another, lol. Ayesha at Last is one of my top reads for 2019 and everyone needs to read this book! I’m excited to see what Jalaluddin pens next and hopefully she doesn’t keep us waiting for too long.

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I'm Ari, a local NYC bibliophile and a forever daydreamer. You can usually find me with my nose buried in a book and my head up in the clouds. I am also a coffee addict and a chocolate connoisseur. I fell in love with the romance genre about three years ago and I haven't been able to stop reading about happily-ever-afters, which is ironic because I'm a bit of a cynical romantic in real life, haha. I hope you all enjoy my blog and fangirling with me about all the smutty reads!

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